32 responses to An Amish Rodeo
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    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 05:23)

    The event with the Barrels is “barrel racing” whoever has the fastest time.. Knocking over barrels adds time to your run…Use to love to do barrels!! My super hyper horse loved it too!!

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    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 05:29)

    I don’t want to make fun, but I am struck by the pants the woman is wearing in addition to her dress. I suppose it works to preserve modesty, not show “a little leg” at all. At first I thought they where long boots. Is this a commonplace thing?
    I like the pictures, very well done.

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      Marvin Mohler
      Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 07:06)

      Happens often among plain people. Strictly for modesty.

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    Elizabeth Snoke
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 05:36)

    Shades of the Old West!!! Of course, “cowboys” lived in Viginia and other eastern states before making their way west.

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      Micheal McEvoy
      Comment on Virginia "Cowboys" (September 12th, 2012 at 08:26)

      Virginia "Cowboys"

      Historically, the only true eastern cowboys were the Florida Crackers.
      All other drovers followed the Irish/Scottish tradition of driving cattle on foot.
      The Spanish were the one’s who introduced horses to cattle handling,with the lariet being introduced by African slaves brought to Mexico by the Spanish.
      I wrote a fairly comprehensive paper for a college geography class on the evolution of the North American Cowboy Culture that I would be willing to share for those interested.

      As a side, do the Amish in Montana ranch, or are they still farmers?

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        Mark Yoder
        Comment on Yeah, I'd like the article (September 12th, 2012 at 08:50)

        Yeah, I'd like the article

        Yes, Michael McEvoy, I’d love to see your article on cowboy history. Could you send it to markandruthie@gmail.com?

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        Comment on Montana Amish ranching? (September 12th, 2012 at 09:41)

        Montana Amish ranching?

        Michael, based on a 6-yr-old directory it looks like construction and woodworking are the most prevalent occupations in Montana (Rexford, St. Ignatius communities). I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Amish raise cattle but from what I can tell it’s not a dominant occupation (there are a few “farmers” listed, but it’s no more descriptive than that). I’d be interested to hear from anyone with fresher info.

        Here is the Montana Amish page if anyone’s interested: http://amishamerica.com/montana-amish/

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          Comment on Rexford MT (September 12th, 2012 at 21:06)

          Rexford MT

          When I lived at Rexford about 20 years ago (the Amish community was known locally as the West Kootenai, since it is one the west side of the lake, right up next to the Canadian border) there were some Amish running a few cattle there. Nothing major, maybe 20? head for one family if I remember right. But I dont think any of them made their living solely off of cattle. Most were involved in logging, log furniture, and log home building in some way. Horse logging some, but also using some smaller equipment, and a few involved in helicopter logging, but obviously they hired the helicopter 🙂 (I think the rate was $400/hour at the time.)
          They had some buggies for local (in the Amish community itself), but they were only occasionally seen. A lot of bikes and walking since they live relatively close together. But a trip to Rexford was about 1-1.5 hours I think, in a motorized vehicle. It’s not a big community, maybe 15 families. Outside of working in the woods and a few cattle, not much work available. And the amount of land available for expansion is limited. The further one gets up into the mountains, the more expensive the land gets. Californians are noted for buying up the land at prices that make a man grimace …

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            Comment on Horse logging v. Helicopter logging (September 13th, 2012 at 08:10)

            Horse logging v. Helicopter logging

            I enjoyed that contrast Mike…somehow fitting that Amish could be involved in both.

            Now if they figure out how to do Horse-helicopter logging, that’s when I’ll be impressed 🙂

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              Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 17th, 2012 at 18:01)

              Both horse logging and helicopter logging were US Forest Service requirements for certain timber sales for ecological “low-impact” purposes. The helicopters obviously leave less tracks than the horses even. 🙂
              At that time you could buy a “helicopter-only” timber sale for a couple of dollars (they auction them off), since the cost of the helicopter rental was so high.

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    Allyson L
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 06:21)

    Slightly…. Yes when the females ride the are expected to wear full pants under their dress.
    My friends daughter is an avid rider and she said how hot it can get to ride in the summer.

    I am shocked to see Children and married folk at such an event. My friend whom is old order but from a higher church and I were discussing the rodeo and their church along with the daughters soon to be husbands church will not allow for children or the married couples to attend the rodeos.

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    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 07:16)

    Nice pictures. Why do certain old order sects not allow children and married women at the rodeo?

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    Brenda Henry
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 09:50)

    I am wondering if they were actually Amish, or perhaps Mennonites, attending and participating in a rodeo?? In our Amish community, they would be shunned in a heartbeat for attending, much less participating, especially the lady in pants,in a rodeo. My Amish neighbor and I were just discussing this last week. She was talking about how she had always dreamed of going to a rodeo. I suppose there again, it depends on the community and area, but never here in West TN!

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      Comment on Old Order Amish riders and rodeo attendees (September 12th, 2012 at 10:09)

      Old Order Amish riders and rodeo attendees

      Another illustration of Amish diversity. There were probably Mennonites as well, but yes these were Amish riders, not sure that all were baptized members of the church, though there were certainly many Amish adults and families attending.

      A basic rule of thumb is that what is considered proper and acceptable in community A may be much different from community B. I think the folks in West TN are probably more conservative than the average Lancaster church.

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    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 10:54)

    Thanks for posting Erik! I miss the rodeo days. I loved watching the barrel racing and the roping. The country days are those to keep close.

    Please post more of these photos. Takes me back home. I have seen and heard of the Amish girls wearing pants with their dresses. I have also seen other groups dressing like this to be out with the animals.

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      Comment on Amish girl in trousers (September 13th, 2012 at 08:19)

      Amish girl in trousers

      Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t see of much other choice as far as wear when you’re riding a horse in this way. Then again not all Amish would support this type of event or really encourage horse riding, which would eliminate the question of what should girls wear.

      As for Amish girls wearing pants with their dresses for certain tasks, see the last photo here:


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        Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 20:57)

        It should probably be underscored what you said about a (professional) rodeo being an event that is discouraged (prohibited?) for Amish people.

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    Comment on cowboy games (September 12th, 2012 at 14:31)

    cowboy games

    Thanks for explaining the diversity on the pants and participation in rodeo on the topic, everyone.
    I thought about it a second time and became curious, how do the Amish pronounce “rodeo”? Is it “Row-dee-oh” like I’ve often heard it, or “Row-day-oh” like the famous California Drive?
    On a family reunion trip to the Canadian prairies my family went to a rodeo in my Aunt and Uncle’s community, and my Uncle insisted I call it a “Row-day-oh”
    What do you say? what do the Amish who participate say?

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      Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 08:21)

      Shom I say the first, and so did the Amish folks in Lancaster. The second way of course sounds cooler 🙂

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        Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 20:51)

        Row-day-oh is the Spanish pronunciation. A rodeo in Spanish comes from the root “rod-” which means “round”. A rodeo is when you “round up” your cattle into the corral, which in the early days was, and in many cases still is, round in shape.
        “Corral” is another Spanish word, which has for its root “corr-“, which means “run.” A corral is a place for the animals to run around in (in comparison to a tight pen or a barn).

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    Comment on Cattle Penning.... (September 12th, 2012 at 16:25)

    Cattle Penning....

    The event is called “team penning” and can be quite addicting…success depends not only on the skill of the riders and horses, but also on getting a good “draw” on the cattle (a numbered group that is amenable to being driven to the pen). Just takes one squirrely one to mess up a run 🙂

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      Comment on Team penning (September 13th, 2012 at 08:23)

      Team penning

      That’s what I liked about it Sharon…Mose told a funny story about how one group they had, had just been weaned…when the riders approached they all rushed the horses, thinking they were going after “mom” 🙂

      I also wondered how or if they should try to account for the cattle getting tired and easier to handle as the contest went on. They used the same animals the entire time.

      Thanks for the explanation.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Gals in pants... (September 12th, 2012 at 21:03)

    Gals in pants...

    Like SHOM, I was surprised to see the Amish woman in pants. I certainly understand it, though, and it brought back high school memories. We wore uniforms (skirts, blouses & blazers) in my all-girl Catholic high school. Most of us walked several blocks to school, so it was darn cold in winter, and students & parents complained. Sooo, the “good sisters” allowed us to wear pants—but under our skirts (modesty?)! Problem was, they insisted we remove them before walking into the school proper, which meant shedding them just inside the entry doors in front of the stairway to the 1st floor—doors opening and closing, public walking by, ALL BOYS school across the street—what were they thinking!?!

    Still,it looks pretty odd on an Amish woman, especially with the prayer kapp and apron, too. Culture clash!

    Fun photos! 🙂 (Did the “clown” survive unscathed?)

    Alice Mary

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      Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 08:26)

      I wore uniforms to school too Alice Mary, probably not unlike the ones you saw in yours. Funny story. Sometimes trying to get things “right” ends up making them worse.

      As for the clown, I didn’t see him take any shots, except for some eggs that were thrown at him. I wasn’t there the whole time though.

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    Naomi Wilson
    Comment on Women's roles (September 12th, 2012 at 21:07)

    Women's roles

    I just love how (so far as I can tell) the Amish have very specific gender roles, yet women are not treated as if they are “weak” or “delicate” or expected to be “ladylike.” I think I would have thrived in this type of environment as a teenager. As a young person, I was determined to be a wild tomboy, because it made me so angry when I was told that I shouldn’t perform physically demanding tasks (let’s not even go in to the way women are treated as if frail when pregnant- my more recent gripe). It seemed like only boys got to do the exciting stuff.

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    George H.
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 12th, 2012 at 22:02)

    Interesting and funny, love the pix!

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 02:05)

    Love the picture of the Amish cowgirl in red and wearing trousers. Were there many women competing in the rodeo?

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      Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 13th, 2012 at 08:28)

      Carolyn, for the parts I saw, I’d say about a half-dozen young Amish ladies, give or take? There were also some non-Amish women competing as well.

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    Kentucky Lady 717
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 17th, 2012 at 17:55)

    Well.well,well…I remember some time ago you had an article on here and I made a comment,re: women could not wear pants when they did work on the farm, and I believe someone said pants were not allowed and women could do anything in a dress that they could do in pants….and several people seemed a bit put out that I had made that remark….but now I guess it’s ok if they wear pants for this sport eh? But not to muck out a barn, or work in the fields !!!! just sayin………………

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    Comment on Amish rodeo (September 17th, 2012 at 18:56)

    Amish rodeo

    the offer for the history paper would be haelpful

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    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (September 19th, 2012 at 20:54)

    I was fascinated by the comments on this article regarding the woman wearing pants. Hasn’t anyone thought about what it’s like to ride a horse in your undies? Have a look at what “cowboys” wear when riding. I doubt that there is any issue at all about a woman wearing pants in this circumstance. That she was allowed to participate is interesting though.

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    Trish in Indiana
    Comment on An Amish Rodeo (March 7th, 2014 at 08:37)

    I live in Elkhart County Indiana, where one of the biggest events of the year is the weeklong county fair. (Not to brag or anything, but the Elkhart County 4H Fair is often the biggest or second-biggest county fair in the United States.) Many Amish families (as well as many Amish teens) attend the fair, and the rodeo seems to be one of their favorites. No Amish compete in the rodeo, that I have ever seen, although some Amish men compete in the draft horse pull that is held before it.

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